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Friday, January 11, 2013

Ruffled Slipcovered Sofa Table

About ten years ago my friend moved to Australia and gave me a vacuum cleaner and this table. I’ve used the table off and on since then (and the vacuum all the time!). I loved the size, shape, and the style of the table legs. The only problem was that the top veneer was peeling off and I had no idea what to do with it.

Yesterday I decided to make a slip cover for it. And this is what I ended up with. I’m really happy with how well it turned out.
Here are some basic instructions for making something similar. I used a heavy duty drop cloth (that I used to slip cover my sofa) and some home dec fabric for the ruffle.

1. Table Top: measure your table and add an inch. My table is 24” x 48”, so I cut 25” x 49”.

2. Side Panel: my panel is 5” but you can make it any depth. So cut two pieces the length (5” x 49”) and width (5” x 25”) of your table top piece.

3. Ruffle: my ruffle is about 4” but you can make it any depth. I cut four pieces 8 1/2'” x WOF – so I ended up with four pieces of fabric that were  8 1/2” x 54”.

Prepare side panel and ruffle:
Using a 1/2” seam, sew your ruffle pieces together, along the 8 1/2” ends so you have one long piece. Then sew the two ends together to create a loop. Make sure that you don’t twist this.

Press seams open. With WST, press in half so it’s 4 1/4” deep. You should be looking at the RIGHT side of the fabric. We aren’t turning this right side out! Set aside.

Using a zig-zag or overcast stitch, zig-zag the 5” ends of your side panel. This will reduce fraying. Then, using a 1/2” seam, sew your side panel pieces together – if your table is a rectangle, make sure they are in correct order! You should have a loop. Set aside.

Mark your side panel and ruffle: Now you’ll need to make some registration marks. The purpose of these marks is to help you get the ruffle evenly distributed along the side panel. 

Side Panel: Much of this depends on the size of your table, so just fold in half (so it’s long and narrow) and mark on the folds (on the right side); fold in half and mark on the folds, then maybe one more fold and mark. I typically recommend going no more than 24” between marks. If it’s more than 24”, it’s difficult to ruffle. Because my table is even, I went every 24”, using the seams as a registration point.

Ruffle: Do the same with the ruffle – just fold in half and mark, then again…until you have the same number of marks that you have on your side panel. Next, beginning at a registration mark, make your ruffle following these directions. Don’t ruffle yet! You are just adding the embroidery floss.

Sew your ruffle to your side panel:
Put on your walking foot and lengthen your stitches to about 3mm.
Put panel and ruffle RST. Find a registration point on the side panel and your starting point on the ruffle (where you started with the embroidery floss), line them up, and tie off your embroidery floss. Pin at that registration point. 

Using a 1/2” seam, take a few stitches. Find your next registration marks and pin the ruffle to the panel at that point. Take the embroidery floss at that mark and work it out of the zig zag. Slowly pull and ruffle (you’ll have a loop of embroider floss). Evenly distribute the ruffle as you sew. Stop at the registration mark and tie off your embroidery floss (this will tie off the loop). Find your next registration marks, line up, pin, and repeat. Do this all the way around. Then remove the embroidery floss. I just cut it at the knots.

Zig zag (or overcast) the raw top edge of the ruffle/side panel. This will be just above your row of stitches. This stops fraying.

Sew side panel to table top:
On the WRONG SIDE, mark the middle of each side of the side panel. On the RIGHT SIDE, mark the middle of each side of the table top.

With RST, start at one of the marks and using a 1/2” seam, sew side panel to table top. I recommend putting the side panel/ruffle on the top and the table top on the bottom. When you reach a corner, stop 1/2” from the end, put the needle down, and pivot. When you pivot, you should be right on the panel seam. Continue sewing until you are done. 

Zig zag over the raw edge to stop fraying! 

To keep the slipcover from sliding, put a rug pad on the table first. It grips the table and the slipcover and gives it a little bit of cushioning!

I finished it off by top stitching just above the ruffle (on the right side). Just flatten the ruffle and using a walking foot, sew around the perimeter of the slipcover. This will keep your ruffle flat so it hangs straight.



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